Thursday was a relatively slow night in college basketball, but there was some insanity that is definitely worth discussing.
We start out west.
1. OREGON BEATS COLORADO DESPITE GIVING UP 20-0 RUN
How often do teams that go on 20-0 runs lose?
I know of at least one time that it happened: On Thursday night, when Colorado turned a 16-10 deficit at Oregon into a 30-16 lead and still managed to find a way to take a loss.
The full recap can be found here.
What’s far more interesting is that the Pac-12 race now, functionally, has a four-way tie for first-place. Colorado and Oregon are both sitting at 8-4 in the league with Arizona and Arizona State sitting at 7-4 in league play. Should I mention that both USC and UCLA are sitting one-game out of first place?
This race is going to be a wild ride.
2. CINCINNATI SURVIVED MEMPHIS IN A GAME WITH MASSIVE BUBBLE IMPLICATIONS
Cincinnati and Memphis are both sitting squarely on the bubble right now. Depending on where you look, they are sitting somewhere between the last four in and the first round out. Prior to this game, our Dave Ommen had both teams as one of the first four teams out of the NCAA tournament. The difference? Cincinnati has been playing their best basketball of the season of late. Memphis? They’re struggling, and they’re doing so without James Wiseman or D.J. Jeffries, two of their three best players.
That’s a perfect summation for what happened on Thursday night.
Memphis jumped out to a lead, they were up 64-54 with just over six minutes left and they still found a way to lose in overtime.
The Bearcats got the win they needed. The Tigers took a loss that could end up relegating them to the NIT.
3. CAN IOWA SURVIVE THEIR HEALTH ISSUES?
Luka Garza scored 38 points, the rest of the No. 21 Iowa Hawkeyes scored 39 and Indiana finished with 89 points as the Hoosiers landed a critical win for their NCAA tournament resume on Thursday night in Bloomington.
Indiana needed that. Badly.
But the story of this game, to me, is Iowa. Fran McCaffery has a reputation of putting together teams that collapse down the stretch of a season. That has happened a couple of times. The narrative of his late-season swoons is probably overblown. Either way, it is something that people think about when they think about Iowa basketball, and losing for the second time in three games — both of which were double-digit losses on the road to unranked teams — is not exactly a great look.
The truth, however, probably has more to do with Iowa’s health than anything else. Jordan Bohannon is done for the year. Jack Nunge is done for the year, too. Patrick McCaffery only played two games. Cordell Pemsl was suspended for this game because he was caught driving on a suspended license. And on Thursday, C.J. Fredrick left the game in the first half after spraining his ankle, an injury that Fran McCaffery said, “wasn’t a good one.”
That, right now, is the story of this Iowa season.